Paul arrives in Ephesus

Date: Monday, August 5

ScriptureActs 19:1-10

Verse: Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.” (Acts 19:4)

In the church we often tell jokes about one another’s denominations. I remember in seminary hearing a Baptist friend, whose church only practices baptism by immersion, call our sprinkling method “dry cleaning.” We can talk about communion, theology, and so much more. Even this summer’s movie about Jackie Robinson, 42, has a great denominational line. Harrison Ford playing Branch Rickey, owner of the Dodgers says this referring to Robinson: “He’s a Methodist, I’m a Methodist… And God’s a Methodist; We can’t go wrong.” While most of it is in good fun, sometimes our denominational differences can become a barrier. In the church there are many things that separate us, but something far greater that brings us together. 

In today’s reading we find Paul traveling to a new place and meeting with the believers already there. Again, he finds some differences, but greater is the faith in Jesus that binds them together. Though they come from different places, and have heard about Jesus from different sources, their love for Jesus unites them. Sometimes we too need to be reminded of what brings us together as believers in Jesus. 

In many ways our denominations are a blessing. They give us a variety of ways to express our love for Jesus, and different approaches to our relationship with him. We can celebrate our differences while recognizing we all worship and follow the same Jesus.  

Prayer: Thank you God for the diverse ways we can come to know you. Amen. 

Action: Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-31. Reflect on how our differences actually make the church function better.  

Respond: Do you know a denominational joke? Share it by clicking “Leave a Comment” below. If you are receiving this via email, click the title at the top of the email to take you to the devotion webpage where you can leave a comment.

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About Joe Iovino

Christian, husband & father, Associate Pastor in Monument CO, guitar player, motorcyclist, Mets fan.
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